One of the simplest ways to beat winter blues is to stay active. It’s easier said than done when it’s dark and cold outside, but research has shown that even a 15-minute walk each day is enough to boost your mood. Try to exercise earlier in the day so that you can absorb the natural light.
Get into the right mindset
Try to embrace winter as a time to slow down, enjoy being at home, and spend time with friends and family. Make a fun Netflix lineup and remember that winter doesn’t last forever. Who you surround yourself with is also important, so spend more time with people who bring out the best in you.
During cold and rainy weather, it can be tempting to eat unhealthy snacks on the couch while waiting for your pizza to be delivered, but greasy and refined carbohydrates will make you feel more sluggish over the winter months. During this time, it is important to consume mostly vegetables, fruit, healthy fats and lean protein. Try eating complex carbohydrates such as broccoli, courgettes and lentils which take longer to digest, meaning they don’t cause the sudden spikes in blood sugar that can play havoc with your mood.
Take fish oil and vitamin D supplements
Vitamin D plays a role in regulating mood, maintaining optimum blood sugar levels and boosting our immune systems. Although one of the main natural sources of vitamin D is sunlight, taking a vitamin D supplement can improve your mood substantially. Omega-3 supplements may also be beneficial. Iceland is one of the northernmost nations in the world, but has the lowest rates of the winter blues. One reason for this is thought to be their high consumption of fish such as salmon and cod, which are rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Studies have suggested that by relaxing the body and mind through stimulating the release of the hormone melatonin, meditation can lead to increased activity in the part of the brain associated with happiness, and decreased activity in brain regions linked to stress.